Ramsey set for Stoke battle

Arsene Wenger is hoping for a ‘clean’ game against Stoke in a rematch of the clash that left midfielder Aaron Ramsey with a broken leg.Ramsey spent nine months on the sidelines after a Ryan Shawcross tackle last season and has only recently returned to Arsenal’s starting line-up and his fourth appearance for the club this season will be against the man almost ended the 20-year-old’s career.

“I said many times that only Aaron can forgive Shawcross,” Wenger said.

“He has been hurt and I don’t think that a debate is needed before the game. I believe Aaron is 20 years old, he has a long career in front of him, so the earlier the plays in Stoke the better it is.”

“The only thing that is important is to focus, to play well and win the game.”

“We cannot want to have a clean game and prepare football games like that.”

Ramsey scored the only goal in Arsenal’s win against Manchester United last week and will continue to deputise for the injured Cesc Fabregas who has a thigh problem.

Long-term absentee Thomas Vermaelen is fit again after recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury.

Alongside the Welshman is likely to be Jack Wilshere whose recent inclusion in the provisional squad to play for England in the Under-21 European Championships in the summer has angered his club manager.

“I personally believe it does not have to be Jack Wilshere’s decision. It is the FA’s decision because only they can make this decision and they have to act in a responsible way,” Wenger said.

“You cannot ask Jack if he wants to play – do you really think he will say no? I don’t think that’s realistic.”

“I will ask Fabio Capello to consider the consequences of a boy who is 19 years old who has played around 50 games at the end of the season, who has played for the first team and then a tournament on the back of it.”

Central defender Johan Djourou will undergo a fitness test to assess his ankle and Abou Diaby is struggling with a calf problem. Gael Clicky could also miss out with a hamstring complaint.

 


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